AIA: MPN Regulations Will Slow Costly Abuse, Protect Injured Workers

October 27, 2004

New regulations issued by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to create and manage the use of medical provider networks (MPNs) will reduce the costly and abusive practice of “doctor shopping” and protect injured workers from excessive and unnecessary medical care that keeps them out of work longer, the American Insurance Association (AIA) reported this week.

“The Schwarzenegger Administration should be applauded for meeting the aggressive timetable required to implement the 2004 legislative reforms,” Ken Gibson, AIA vice president, western region, said. “The legislature believed California’s workers’ compensation system was out of control and needed to be brought back into balance. Business as usual was no longer acceptable.

“These regulations are an important step in a series of steps necessary to reshape California’s benefit delivery system,” Gibson explained. “If the legislative reforms are implemented in a proper and timely manner, California will have a more predictable and stable system, which will lead to more competition, more choices for employers and better care for injured workers.

“Other states such as Washington, Oregon and Florida, have implemented MPNs which have resulted in lower medical costs. The success these states have had has led the Texas legislature to consider legislation in 2005 to create medical networks in order to gain control over skyrocketing medical costs in their workers’ compensation system.”

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